self stimulation


Summary: Stimulation of the brain, which is self-administered. The stimulation may result in negative or positive reinforcement.

Top Publications

  1. Kadar E, Huguet G, Aldavert Vera L, Morgado Bernal I, Segura Torres P. Intracranial self stimulation upregulates the expression of synaptic plasticity related genes and Arc protein expression in rat hippocampus. Genes Brain Behav. 2013;12:771-9 pubmed publisher
    Post-training lateral hypothalamus (LH) intracranial self stimulation (ICSS) has a reliable enhancing effect on explicit memory formation evaluated in hippocampus-dependent tasks such as the Morris water maze...
  2. Kruk Z, Cheeta S, Milla J, Muscat R, Williams J, Willner P. Real time measurement of stimulated dopamine release in the conscious rat using fast cyclic voltammetry: dopamine release is not observed during intracranial self stimulation. J Neurosci Methods. 1998;79:9-19 pubmed
    ..Rats trained on a continuous reinforcement schedule to perform intracranial self stimulation (ICSS) were implanted with electrodes for FCV...
  3. Witten I, Steinberg E, Lee S, Davidson T, Zalocusky K, Brodsky M, et al. Recombinase-driver rat lines: tools, techniques, and optogenetic application to dopamine-mediated reinforcement. Neuron. 2011;72:721-33 pubmed publisher
    ..These studies complement existing targeting approaches by extending the generalizability of optogenetics to traditionally non-genetically-tractable but vital animal models. ..
  4. Wise R. Roles for nigrostriatal--not just mesocorticolimbic--dopamine in reward and addiction. Trends Neurosci. 2009;32:517-24 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, the similarities between nigrostriatal and mesolimbic dopamine systems can be as important as their differences. ..
  5. Sagara H, Kitamura Y, Yae T, Shibata K, Suemaru K, Sendo T, et al. Nicotinic acetylcholine alpha4beta2 receptor regulates the motivational effect of intracranial self stimulation behavior in the runway method. J Pharmacol Sci. 2008;108:455-61 pubmed
    ..These results demonstrate that nicotine enhances the running speed towards the goal lever via alpha4beta2 nicotinic receptors and suggest that alpha4beta2 nicotinic receptors influence the brain mechanism of motivation. ..
  6. Pillolla G, Melis M, Perra S, Muntoni A, Gessa G, Pistis M. Medial forebrain bundle stimulation evokes endocannabinoid-mediated modulation of ventral tegmental area dopamine neuron firing in vivo. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2007;191:843-53 pubmed
    ..Thus, endocannabinoids might play an important role in the mechanisms underlying the rewarding properties of MFB stimulation. ..
  7. Konkle A, Bielajew C, Fouriezos G, Thrasher A. Measuring threshold shifts for brain stimulation reward using the method of limits. Can J Exp Psychol. 2001;55:253-60 pubmed
    ..Our findings suggest that the threshold procedure is generally not influenced by the sequence of delivery of stimulus values and, thus, may be regarded as a reliable measure of the reinforcing properties of brain-stimulation reward. ..
  8. Todtenkopf M, Marcus J, Portoghese P, Carlezon W. Effects of kappa-opioid receptor ligands on intracranial self-stimulation in rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2004;172:463-70 pubmed
    ..These data provide further evidence that stimulation of brain kappa-receptors may trigger certain depressive-like signs, and that kappa antagonists may have efficacy as antidepressants without having reward-related actions of their own. ..
  9. Stellar J, Corbett D. Regional neuroleptic microinjections indicate a role for nucleus accumbens in lateral hypothalamic self-stimulation reward. Brain Res. 1989;477:126-43 pubmed
    ..These results confirmed the reward effects of acute DA receptor blockade, but produced a greater associated motor/performance impairment. Both behavioral effects of the lesion recovered within 2 weeks in many, but not all subjects. ..

More Information


  1. Watterson L, Watterson E, Olive M. Abuse liability of novel 'legal high' designer stimulants: evidence from animal models. Behav Pharmacol. 2013;24:341-55 pubmed publisher
  2. Boye S, Grant R, Tawfik V. Intracranial self-stimulation of the dorsal raphe sensitizes psychostimulant locomotion. Behav Neurosci. 2007;121:550-8 pubmed
    ..Locomotor responses to amphetamine and to nicotine were significantly greater in rats preexposed to brain stimulation. These findings suggest at least partial overlap of underlying substrates. ((c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved). ..
  3. Paterson N, Bruijnzeel A, Kenny P, Wright C, Froestl W, Markou A. Prolonged nicotine exposure does not alter GABA(B) receptor-mediated regulation of brain reward function. Neuropharmacology. 2005;49:953-62 pubmed
  4. Nakahara D. Influence of nicotine on brain reward systems: study of intracranial self-stimulation. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004;1025:489-90 pubmed
    ..Thus, in both the mesopontine tegmentum and the ventral tegmentum, nicotinic receptors appear to facilitate the rewarding effect of the self-stimulation. ..
  5. Leon M, Gallistel C. Self-stimulating rats combine subjective reward magnitude and subjective reward rate multiplicatively. J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process. 1998;24:265-77 pubmed
  6. Yeomans J, Takeuchi J, Baptista M, Flynn D, Lepik K, Nobrega J, et al. Brain-stimulation reward thresholds raised by an antisense oligonucleotide for the M5 muscarinic receptor infused near dopamine cells. J Neurosci. 2000;20:8861-7 pubmed
    ..Therefore, M5 muscarinic receptors associated with mesolimbic dopamine neurons seem to be important in brain-stimulation reward. ..
  7. Katsidoni V, Kastellakis A, Panagis G. Biphasic effects of ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol on brain stimulation reward and motor activity. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013;16:2273-84 pubmed publisher
    ..The present findings provide further support that ?(9)-THC induces behaviours typical of abuse and substantiate the notion that marijuana resembles other drugs of abuse. ..
  8. Tod D, Hardy J, Oliver E. Effects of self-talk: a systematic review. J Sport Exerc Psychol. 2011;33:666-87 pubmed
    ..g., the use of designs allowing the testing of meditational hypotheses) and for current applied practice (e.g., avoiding the use of thought-stopping techniques). ..
  9. Butkevich I, Kassil V. Antinociceptive effects of brain rewarding system in the developing rabbit: behavioral and electrophysiological analysis. Brain Res. 1999;834:13-24 pubmed
    ..It may be suggested that the observed peculiarities of antinociceptive influences produced by RSs ES are determined by the age factors of neurotransmitter brain systems. ..
  10. Duchesne V, Boye S. Differential contribution of mesoaccumbens and mesohabenular dopamine to intracranial self-stimulation. Neuropharmacology. 2013;70:43-50 pubmed publisher
  11. Nicotra A, Young T, Asahina M, Mathias C. The effect of different physiological stimuli on skin vasomotor reflexes above and below the lesion in human chronic spinal cord injury. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2005;19:325-31 pubmed
    ..The authors determined whether different stimuli that increase sympathetic activity induced cutaneous vasoconstriction (skin vasomotor reflex, SkVR) above and below the level of lesion in subjects with clinically complete SCI...
  12. Wellman P, Clifford P, Rodriguez J, Hughes S, Di Francesco C, Melotto S, et al. Brain reinforcement system function is ghrelin dependent: studies in the rat using pharmacological fMRI and intracranial self-stimulation. Addict Biol. 2012;17:908-19 pubmed publisher
    ..Taken collectively, these data suggest that systemic GHR can activate mesolimbic dopaminergic areas, and highlight a facilitative role of GHR-Rs on the activity of brain reinforcement systems. ..
  13. Hesse M, Nishitani N, Fink G, Jousmaki V, Hari R. Attenuation of somatosensory responses to self-produced tactile stimulation. Cereb Cortex. 2010;20:425-32 pubmed publisher
  14. Easterling K, Plovnick R, Holtzman S. Acute opioid but not benzodiazepine dependence in rats responding for intracranial self-stimulation. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2000;148:263-71 pubmed
    ..There was no comparable evidence of acute benzodiazepine dependence, suggesting that there are differences in the ways that opioid and benzodiazepine agonists initiate the adaptive changes that underlie the state of physical dependence. ..
  15. La Rue A. Healthy brain aging: role of cognitive reserve, cognitive stimulation, and cognitive exercises. Clin Geriatr Med. 2010;26:99-111 pubmed publisher
    ..More randomized controlled trials, using challenging regimes of training and stimulation and long-term follow-up, are needed, measuring cognitive trajectories in normal aging and relative risk of Alzheimer disease as outcomes. ..
  16. Harris A, Mattson C, LeSage M, Keyler D, Pentel P. Comparison of the behavioral effects of cigarette smoke and pure nicotine in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2010;96:217-27 pubmed publisher
  17. Ikemoto S, Bonci A. Neurocircuitry of drug reward. Neuropharmacology. 2014;76 Pt B:329-41 pubmed publisher
    ..This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'NIDA 40th Anniversary Issue'. ..
  18. Redolar Ripoll D, Aldavert Vera L, Soriano Mas C, Segura Torres P, Morgado Bernal I. Intracranial self-stimulation facilitates memory consolidation, but not retrieval: its effects are more effective than increased training. Behav Brain Res. 2002;129:65-75 pubmed
    ..This findings confirm that ICSS treatment improves memory consolidation and suggest that it might not affect memory retrieval mechanisms. ..
  19. Hebb A, Zacharko R, Gauthier M, Drolet G. Exposure of mice to a predator odor increases acoustic startle but does not disrupt the rewarding properties of VTA intracranial self-stimulation. Brain Res. 2003;982:195-210 pubmed
    ..Moreover, the anxiogenic properties of psychogenic stressors can be separated from their anhedonic effects. The implications of these data for clinical psychopathology are discussed. ..
  20. Morgan J, diDonato C, Iyer S, Jenkins P, Smith J, Sethi K. Self-stimulatory behavior associated with deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 2006;21:283-5 pubmed
  21. Burnett T, Mann E, Stoklosa J, Ludlow C. Self-triggered functional electrical stimulation during swallowing. J Neurophysiol. 2005;94:4011-8 pubmed
  22. Bespalov A, Dravolina O, Belozertseva I, Adamcio B, Zvartau E. Lowered brain stimulation reward thresholds in rats treated with a combination of caffeine and N-methyl-D-aspartate but not alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate or metabotropic glutamate receptor-5 receptor antagonists. Behav Pharmacol. 2006;17:295-302 pubmed
    ..These results indicate that, within a limited dose range, caffeine in combination with an NMDA receptor channel blocker and a competitive antagonist significantly lowers brain stimulation reward thresholds in rats. ..
  23. Bespalov A, Zvartau E. NMDA receptor antagonists prevent conditioned activation of intracranial self-stimulation in rats. Eur J Pharmacol. 1997;326:109-12 pubmed
    ..The present findings suggest that the activation of intracranial self-stimulation induced by a conditioned visual stimulus is dependent on the NMDA receptor functioning. ..
  24. Yavich L, Tiihonen J. Patterns of dopamine overflow in mouse nucleus accumbens during intracranial self-stimulation. Neurosci Lett. 2000;293:41-4 pubmed
    ..We conclude that the availability of a readily-releasable pool of DA in presynaptic terminals determined the pattern of dopamine overflow in the nucleus accumbens during ICSS in mice. ..
  25. O Neill K, Todtenkopf M. Using a rate-frequency curve method to assess the rewarding properties of morphine in the intracranial self-stimulation paradigm in rats. J Neurosci Methods. 2010;189:75-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Here, we demonstrate a reliable and robust method to assess the rewarding effects of morphine using the rate-frequency curve paradigm. ..
  26. Sagara H, Kitamura Y, Sendo T, Araki H, Gomita Y. Effect of diazepam on the runway method using priming stimulation of intracranial self stimulation behavior. J Pharmacol Sci. 2008;107:355-60 pubmed
  27. Wiebelhaus J, Walentiny D, Beardsley P. Effects of Acute and Repeated Administration of Oxycodone and Naloxone-Precipitated Withdrawal on Intracranial Self-Stimulation in Rats. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2016;356:43-52 pubmed publisher
    ..The results of this study provide the first report of acute and chronic effects of oxycodone on responding maintained by ICSS presentation and the use of ICSS-maintained responding to characterize its tolerance and dependence effects. ..
  28. Tracy M, Banks M, Shelton K. Negative allosteric modulation of GABAA receptors inhibits facilitation of brain stimulation reward by drugs of abuse in C57BL6/J mice. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2016;233:715-25 pubmed publisher
    ..These data suggest that pharmacological modulation of GABAA receptors may represent a viable pathway for the development of drug abuse pharmacotherapies. ..
  29. Bäss P, Jacobsen T, Schroger E. Suppression of the auditory N1 event-related potential component with unpredictable self-initiated tones: evidence for internal forward models with dynamic stimulation. Int J Psychophysiol. 2008;70:137-43 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, the attenuation effect was reduced when the frequency was unpredictable suggesting that it is easier to discriminate a self-initiated sound with exact foreknowledge. ..
  30. Hata T, Chen J, Ebihara K, Date Y, Ishida Y, Nakahara D. Intra-ventral tegmental area or intracerebroventricular orexin-A increases the intra-cranial self-stimulation threshold via activation of the corticotropin-releasing factor system in rats. Eur J Neurosci. 2011;34:816-26 pubmed publisher
  31. Marston H, Martin F, Papp M, Gold L, Wong E, Shahid M. Attenuation of chronic mild stress-induced 'anhedonia' by asenapine is not associated with a 'hedonic' profile in intracranial self-stimulation. J Psychopharmacol. 2011;25:1388-98 pubmed publisher
    ..Asenapine reversed CMS-induced anhedonia without facilitating ICSS, providing support for a role of asenapine in treating bipolar disorder and aspects of negative and/or affective symptoms in schizophrenia. ..
  32. Bonano J, Glennon R, De Felice L, Banks M, Negus S. Abuse-related and abuse-limiting effects of methcathinone and the synthetic "bath salts" cathinone analogs methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), methylone and mephedrone on intracranial self-stimulation in rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2014;231:199-207 pubmed publisher
    ..However, efficacies of compounds to facilitate ICSS varied, with methcathinone displaying the highest efficacy and mephedrone displaying the lowest efficacy to facilitate ICSS. ..
  33. Carr K, Cabeza de Vaca S, Sun Y, Chau L. Reward-potentiating effects of D-1 dopamine receptor agonist and AMPAR GluR1 antagonist in nucleus accumbens shell and their modulation by food restriction. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2009;202:731-43 pubmed publisher
  34. Johnson P, Hollander J, Kenny P. Decreased brain reward function during nicotine withdrawal in C57BL6 mice: evidence from intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) studies. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2008;90:409-15 pubmed publisher
    ..Further, these findings highlight the potential utility of the ICSS procedure for assessing this important affective component of nicotine withdrawal in genetically modified mice. ..
  35. Shabanov P, Lebedev A. [Comparative study of the effects of amphetamine and dimethoxymethamphetamine on brain self-stimulation in rats after perinatal administration of 6-hydroxydopamine]. Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2004;67:12-5 pubmed
    ..DMA, in contrast to amphetamine, did not produce such activation in intact rats and in the animals treated with 6-hydroxydopamine in the prenatal period. ..
  36. Waraczynski M, Perkins M. Temporary inactivation of the retrorubral fields decreases the rewarding effect of medial forebrain bundle stimulation. Brain Res. 2000;885:154-65 pubmed
    ..These results indicate that some neural elements located in the RRF contribute to the rewarding effect of MFB stimulation. Possible roles for these elements in the anatomical substrate for MFB self-stimulation are discussed. ..
  37. De Vry J, Horvath E, Schreiber R. Neuroprotective and behavioral effects of the selective metabotropic glutamate mGlu(1) receptor antagonist BAY 36-7620. Eur J Pharmacol. 2001;428:203-14 pubmed
    ..It is concluded that mGlu(1) receptor antagonism results in neuroprotective and anticonvulsive effects in the absence of the typical side-effects resulting from antagonism of iGlu receptors. ..
  38. Sagara H, Sendo T, Gomita Y. Evaluation of motivational effects induced by intracranial self-stimulation behavior. Acta Med Okayama. 2010;64:267-75 pubmed
    ..We hope that this technique will be used to scientifically evaluate the impact of drugs and/or therapeutic interventions on human motivation. ..
  39. Rokosik S, Napier T. Intracranial self-stimulation as a positive reinforcer to study impulsivity in a probability discounting paradigm. J Neurosci Methods. 2011;198:260-9 pubmed publisher
    ..We demonstrated that the discounting behavior remained stable for several weeks. The value of this protocol is discussed in terms of practical as well as theoretical advantages of using ICSS-mediated reinforcement. ..
  40. Shabanov P, Lebedev A, Pavlenko V. [Effect of peptides introduced into the central nucleus of amygdala on the hypothalamic self-stimulation in chronically alcoholized rats]. Eksp Klin Farmakol. 2006;69:44-9 pubmed
    ..It is suggested that the extended amygdala modulates the reinforcing properties of lateral hypothalamus, probably by means of extrahypothalamic corticoliberin-containing neurons. ..
  41. Johansen E, Sagvolden T. Slower extinction of responses maintained by intra-cranial self-stimulation (ICSS) in an animal model of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Behav Brain Res. 2005;162:22-31 pubmed
  42. Amsterdam A, Abu Rustum N, Carter J, Krychman M. Persistent sexual arousal syndrome associated with increased soy intake. J Sex Med. 2005;2:338-40 pubmed
  43. Clements R, Greenshaw A. Facilitation of brain stimulation reward by MK-801 (dizocilpine) may be independent of D2-like dopamine receptor stimulation in rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005;182:65-74 pubmed
  44. Suzuki T, Hirai N. The role of fixation point and subjects' readiness in the occurrence of express saccades as revealed by the self-initiation paradigm. Neurosci Res. 2000;36:235-44 pubmed
  45. Verrillo R, Bolanowski S, McGlone F. Intra- and interactive touch on the face. Somatosens Mot Res. 2003;20:3-11 pubmed
    ..When another person scripted upon the subject's face there were no significant differences among any of the sites. The results are discussed considering mode of stimulation and tissue mechanics. ..
  46. Hinds A, Woody E, Van Ameringen M, Schmidt L, Szechtman H. When too much is not enough: obsessive-compulsive disorder as a pathology of stopping, rather than starting. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e30586 pubmed publisher
  47. Oksman M, Tanila H, Yavich L. Brain reward in the absence of alpha-synuclein. Neuroreport. 2006;17:1191-4 pubmed
    ..The present work demonstrates that a lack of alpha-synuclein sensitized the brain reward system, implying that the levels of alpha-synuclein expression may predispose an individual to drug abuse or to a number of psychiatric diseases. ..
  48. Bebek N, Baykan B, Gurses C, Emir O, Gokyigit A. Self-induction behavior in patients with photosensitive and hot water epilepsy: a comparative study from a tertiary epilepsy center in Turkey. Epilepsy Behav. 2006;9:317-26 pubmed
    ..Our results indicate that SI is more frequent in HWE, although this behavior was attributed mostly to PSE in previous studies. ..
  49. Bormann J, Smith T, Shively M, Dellefield M, Gifford A. Self-monitoring of a stress reduction technique using wrist-worn counters. J Healthc Qual. 2007;29:45-52 pubmed
    ..84) with retrospective self-reports, indicating that such counters may be a reliable self-monitoring tool and could be used to measure a variety of other behavioral health quality indicators. ..
  50. Soriano Mas C, Redolar Ripoll D, Guillazo Blanch G, Morgado Bernal I, Segura Torres P. Intracranial self-stimulation after memory reactivation: immediate and late effects. Brain Res Bull. 2007;74:51-7 pubmed
    ..The present results show that the effect of an immediate SS treatment can be added to the ones of memory reactivation causing a strong long-term facilitation of memory retrieval. ..
  51. ROIKO S, Harris A, LeSage M, Keyler D, Pentel P. Passive immunization with a nicotine-specific monoclonal antibody decreases brain nicotine levels but does not precipitate withdrawal in nicotine-dependent rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009;93:105-11 pubmed publisher
    ..The Nic311 doses used have been shown to attenuate the behavioral effects of nicotine, suggesting that the use of passive immunization to treat nicotine addiction is not likely to precipitate withdrawal. ..
  52. White N, Major R. Facilitation of retention by self-stimulation and by experimenter-administered stimulation. Can J Psychol. 1978;32:116-23 pubmed
  53. Zangen A, Shalev U. Nucleus accumbens beta-endorphin levels are not elevated by brain stimulation reward but do increase with extinction. Eur J Neurosci. 2003;17:1067-72 pubmed
    ..These results indicate a possible role for increased levels of NAS beta-endorphin in the organism's adaptive response to stress and frustration. ..